Internal Communications: Awards and Learning
On the 23rd of March, Halston Marketing was invited to the BOC Internal Communications Brilliance Awards Ceremony as we’d been shortlisted for the IC Consultancy of the Year Award for our work with client PPG as well as the work being shortlisted for the Employee Engagement Brilliance award.
The BOC also held a two-day Internal Comms Conference where experience and insight was shared from some of Europe’s most accomplished communicators.
Case Study: Communicating a Cultural Change
The first case study came from Howard Krais the Communications Director, Communications & Government Affairs at GSK. Howard offered some real communications nuggets, unearthed over his seven years with the pharmaceutical giant:
- Listening – We really need to consider the meaning of the word and ensure we connect on a personal level, Howard advises communicators and managers within large companies endeavour to meet and interact with people within their business that they’ve never met before
- Role Models – Engaging those within leadership roles and encouraging them to become role models for change
- Understanding your Audiences – Make sure you are up to speed on the demographics of your team, at GSK for example, the fastest-growing demographic is the over 50s, we need to ensure our strategies and chosen mediums reflect the audience
- Language – Howard mentioned ‘Pub Speak’, you need to ensure all communication is simple and to the point
Key takeaway: Communicators are Champions of the Audience.
Shifting Employee Mindsets to Deliver Cultural and Commercial Change at Argos
Gemma McGrattan, Director at Synergy Creative was up next with a wealth of knowledge on the implementation strategies with stealth and accuracy.
Gemma explored the example of effective communication with sales centre staff at Argos. As expected, the FMCG behemoth has a huge spike in annual sales around the festive period and a strategy had to be implemented to hone the skills of the sales centre staff in preparation for the busiest period of the year, not only that, Gemma’s team only had eight weeks to do it.
Key elements of the chosen approach were outlined and strategically executed within the timeframe:
- Up-skilling – Each member of the team needed to be up-skilled, especially within digital, classes and workshops were held internally to ensure everyone had the skills they needed to serve the customers properly
- One-person Dealing – Sending customers from pillar to post was one of the biggest issues and one of the main culprits of time-wasting. The aim to conclude an issue with just one member of staff was introduced as well as scenarios and training on getting to that outcome was brought in.
Key takeaway: There’s a recipe for success here, but you need all of the ingredients to make it work.
Case Study from a Multinational Pharmaceutical Company: Building a Multicultural, Inclusive Corporate Culture and Internal Comms from Scratch
Mariya Teplova , Head of Corporate Culture & Internal Communications at R-Pharm group then took the session into the afternoon with her discussion on how she and her team built an inclusive internal communications strategy from the ground up.
One of the main issues they had as a growing company was ensuring all members of staff felt like they were part of the same team. For example, there was a factory in Germany that was previously owned by a pharmaceutical production company, whose workforce very much identified with the old brand, they had their own culture and identity.
Bringing a scattered team together under one banner isn’t easy, and Mariya stressed the importance of a content calendar that allowed the team to plot in interesting dates and ensured that each site and team across EMEA had equal levels of exposure. It was also Mariya’s mission to cut down on the number of comms each team member received to ensure everything was relevant to each employee as well as fun treats like birthday cards for each member of the team, from Japan to Germany.
Key takeaway: You need to be certain of your core message and brand and stay true to that messaging. But don’t forget the fun side of internal comms!
In the evening the awards ceremony kicked off and we were treated to a delicious dinner and some fun with drums!
Halston Marketing was then delighted to learn that our work with PPG and the digitalisation of their EMEA-based internal comms initiative PPG People had won the Gold Prize for Employee engagement!